Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: Vol. 4, Act 11.
Summary: Dee just wants to know how Ryo feels about him, but sometimes he wonders if he ever will.
Word Count: 1529
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 153 – Morose.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
This must be how it felt to hit rock bottom; Dee felt about as low as he ever had, didn’t think it was possible to get any lower. What the hell was wrong with Ryo? Was he really that much of an airhead or was he playing some kind of cruel game? Did he get his kicks from messing with people’s heads? Screwing around with their emotions? That didn’t seem likely; Ryo had never struck Dee as being manipulative or unkind in any way, he was the most caring and considerate person Dee had ever met, but… Dee had been as clear about the way he felt as he knew how to be, and still Ryo had simply shot him down with a casual comment. The worst part of that was, with everyone else his partner always seemed to get how they were feeling, was able to empathise with them, but when it came to Dee’s feelings… nothing, zero, zilch, like Ryo couldn’t care less.
Sometimes it made Dee feel like he was banging his head against a brick wall. He had no idea how Ryo really felt about him; he’d never given the slightest hint. They worked well together, they mostly got along well both at work and on their own time, but while Dee was already falling hard for his partner, and was certainly lusting after him, as far as he could tell Ryo just saw him as a colleague and a friend.
But was that true? What about all the times Dee had kissed him and felt Ryo kissing back? And all the other occasions when Ryo had had been the one doing the kissing? Sure, those had mostly been little more than pecks on the cheek, once or twice on the lips, but still, that had to mean he felt something more than friendship for Dee. Didn’t it? Why did Ryo Maclean have to be so damned hard to read? It wasn’t like Dee wanted Ryo to be like JJ, wearing his heart on his sleeve, gushing romantic notions at him at the drop of a hat, he just wanted to know where he stood and whether or not he was wasting his time pining over a man who would never be his. Dee shuddered; that reminded him uncomfortably of someone else.
“When did I turn into JJ?” he muttered to himself as he slouched out to his car for the drive back to his apartment and another lonely night with only the TV for company. “I keep tellin’ him to get over me and leave me alone; maybe it’s time I started takin’ my own advice because I’m sure as hell not gettin’ anywhere with Ryo.” Shoulders sagging, he unlocked his car and practically fell into the driver’s seat, slumping against the steering wheel. He knew he probably should give up but was already sure that he wasn’t going to, not until he knew for sure one way or another. Which meant he’d likely be stuck in this limbo forever.
He drove home under a dark cloud, lost in gloomy thoughts of hopeless longing, and spent a restless night, dozing off only to wake over and over. His head was too full of questions he didn’t have any answers to, and his body craved something more than his hand could provide, leaving him feeling spent but unsatisfied. When he dragged himself out of bed the next morning he felt as though he hadn’t slept at all; tossing and turning was exhausting.
The next few days just served to drag Dee’s mood lower still. First a bomb threat was called in, then the precinct house blew up and he and Ryo got the blame, which meant they got busted back to traffic duty for a few days. Even worse, Ryo put all the blame on Dee, meaning they spent most of their time arguing, and then, when they were finally allowed to return to their normal duties and he thought things were improving between them again…
Yeah, he should’ve known Ryo’s suggestion that he stay the night had nothing whatsoever to do with taking their relationship, if it could be categorised as such, to the next level. Ryo was only offering so Dee would have a shorter commute come morning, which was considerate on one level but so damned defeating in every other respect. Just to add salt to the wound, that was when Bikky came home from school with a bunch of flowers his new teacher wanted him to give to Ryo! Wasn’t that just perfect? They’d only met the guy that once, and already he was putting the moves on Ryo! Dee was making no progress with his partner when it came to romancing him, and now he had competition? What did the universe have against him? Dee’s heart sank right into his boots, completely deflated. Morose? Him? Damn straight, and with good reason! As soon as this mystery bomber case was over he was going to have a good wallow in self-pity.
Naturally, just when things couldn’t possibly get any worse for him, they did and he found himself trapped in the school with Bikky, a bullet through his leg, and fifteen bombs scattered around the campus, primed to go off in less than five minutes. Getting Bikky to safety had to be his first priority, but that was easy enough; the kid was like a rubber ball, just toss him out the window and tell him to run. Next item on the agenda, deal with the nearest bomb and after that, all he could do was just cross his fingers and hope for the best.
‘I love you, Ryo Maclean, and I’m so sorry I landed myself in this mess,’ he thought. ‘Hope I’ll get out of this in one piece, see your beautiful face again, but if I don’t, try not to think too badly of me. I tried my best. At least I saved the brat for ya; that’s gotta count for somethin’.’
If he failed to defuse it, sitting this close to the bomb when it went off he’d be dead before he knew it, which was comforting in a way; it wouldn’t hurt for long. Taking a deep breath, watching the timer tick its way down from thirty seconds, he picked a wire, praying, ‘Please God let this be the right one!’ and snipped.
The explosions throughout the school were deafening, tearing massive holes in the buildings, starting fires, and setting Dee’s ears ringing… The music room he was in shook and trembled like it was being rocked by an earthquake, and the windows blasted outwards with the sheer force of the pressure wave. Chunks of masonry fell and half of one wall collapsed but most of the ceiling held. Fourteen bombs had gone off right on schedule, but the fifteenth… sitting there beside him, it was dead as a doornail. Sometimes prayers did get answered. Propped against the outer wall, which was miraculously still standing, Dee sent up another prayer, this time one of gratitude; he was alive and mostly in one piece, aside from the bullet wound. All that was left now was to wait to be rescued. If he knew his partner, Ryo would be coming to find him before the dust had a chance to settle.
He was right, and that made it all worth it; everything he’d been through over the last ten days or so, as bad as a lot of it had made him feel, none of it mattered because when Ryo came through the hole in the wall…
Dee had wanted to know how his partner felt about him, even just the smallest little hint that Ryo cared would’ve given him some reason to keep hoping that maybe, one day, he might have a chance at winning the man of his dreams. Did he get that tiny hint? Well, yes and no; what he got wasn’t so much a hint as a graphic demonstration of affection that left Dee in no doubt about how much he meant to Ryo. It’s pretty hard to misinterpret someone practically throwing themselves into your arms and all but kissing the life out of you. For once what he got from Ryo was no quick peck on the cheek; it was a full-on smooch, filled with desperation, fear and relief. Ryo clung to him as if he never wanted to let go, babbling about how he never wanted to feel so scared again, and Dee held his partner just as tightly. Naturally, JJ had to go and burst in on them, breaking up their beautiful moment.
It was okay though, because nothing could undo what had been done and said. At long last Dee knew that Ryo did truly care about him, and maybe even loved him. Somewhere down the line, there might just come a day when he’d be ready to admit it to himself, but until then Dee would just keep chipping away at his partner’s defences. He could afford to be patient now because he was sure that eventually, Ryo Maclean would be his. It was only a matter of time.